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Grubhub Just Walk Out solution

Loyola Maryland students use cashier-less shopping via Grubhub

Grubhub rep tells how Integration between app and Amazon’s Just Walk Out benefits campuses nationwide

Chris Corum   ||   Aug 31, 2023  ||   , ,

At a convenience store at Loyola University of Maryland, students are grabbing items and walking out of the store without checking out, scanning items at a POS, or seeing a cashier. Using Grubhub and Amazon’s Just Walk Out technologies, artificial intelligence, computer vision, and advanced sensors make it possible. The integration between the Grubhub app, already a fixture with Loyola students, and the Just Walk Out system is delivering a seamless and convenient solution for both students and operators.

Lyle Margerum, Director of Technical Operations, Grubhub Campus was on site at Loyola for the launch when we caught up with him to learn about this project and what it means to campuses across the country.

CampusIDNews: Thanks for taking time out from the events on campus. Can you tell me about the integration?

Grubhub: We have been talking with campus partners autonomous convenience stores for years. It is a challenging area to streamline with technology because it has always required cashiers. Just Walk Out provided an ideal the solution.

Early this summer we started doing the work with Amazon, and this week we delivered the first production orders.

Just Walk Out increases sales and brings value to students and the Loyola community. And it does it without the need to staff the location.

CampusIDNews: How does it work with Grubhub?

Grubhub: It is part of the normal Grubhub mobile ordering process. Just Walk Out appears as would any other on-campus dining location – say Chik-fil-a or a dining hall. The difference is that when you select Just Walk Out, there are no menu items to choose from within the app. They are going to choose their items when they enter the store. The user selects the payment method, and a QR code appears on the app’s screen.

The QR code is presented to the Amazon gate at the store, the light turns green, and the gate opens. Sensors and cameras determine which items are selected from the store shelves and track any unwanted items returned to a shelf. When shopping is complete, the user simply walks out the door. The transaction amount is charged to the meal plan account or selected payment method.

Before granting entry to the store, the system determines that there are sufficient funds in the campus account to enable a viable transaction. The Idea is to restrict a user with an ultra-low balance from overdrawing their account. If that does happen, the system could charge against a different tender or provide a report to the store operator to allow another collection process.

Loyola University Grubhub Just Walk Out Mobile app

CampusIDNews: How did Loyola University of Maryland become your first partner for the new technology?

Grubhub: Loyola has been our partner since 2015, so we are leveraging a longtime partnership. They have been innovators on mobile ordering, kiosks, and other services for many years. Additionally, they have been talking with amazon and worked proactively to get this done.

Though they do have a transaction system provider, they did not want to introduce a secondary app just to support the identification of the student to the Just Walk Out system. Because the Grubhub app was already an integral part of campus life it made sense, and this integration just enhances our relationship with the student population.

Loyola Bowman Express convenience store Just Walk Out technology signCampusIDNews: Tell me about the rollout at Loyola.

Grubhub: I have been on campus this week for the launch, and it has been great. Loyola is already talking about future locations. The initial location is a convenience store operated by the campus dining provider Parkhurst. It is located in the bottom of one of the residential halls.

It offers the campus 24x7 retail availability that was not feasible in the past. Students have access to food and drinks, laundry detergent, and a range of other needed items right where they live. This increases sales and brings value to students and the Loyola community. And it does it without the need to staff the location.

CampusIDNews: What do you see for the future of Grubhub and Amazon’s Just Walk Out?

Grubhub: With our integration with Amazon in place, adding other campuses will be incrementally easier. We have ironed out kinks in the experience which will expedite both the planning and rollout process. Our second campus will launch in the next couple of weeks at Montclair University, and others are already scheduled for later in the Fall and Spring semesters.

For Grubhub, it deepens our value proposition with our partner institutions. We now cover the full range of a campus’ needs – mobile ordering, kiosks, POS, robot delivery, reusable container solutions, lockers – and now cashier-less retail.

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